Aug. 14th, 2006

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The most recent dance-- a stately promenade--has just ended, and the musicians fall silent. There's a lull in every conversation-- the room thrums with anticipation.

The sudden overpowering ring of the bell cuts off the sound of any lagging voices, and tolls solemnly.

The note vibrates sweet and low throughout the ballroom, twelve deliberate times, making the glasses at the bar shake gently on their shelf.

After the last note has died away, one voice rings out in the silence, dark and rich. "The time has come to reveal your true self-- remove the masks, and cast off the lies. It is a new day, and it is time to discover the truth."

The voice is echoing from the top of the grand staircase. Melpomene moves to remove her mask, and shake her dark hair free. "Come, now is the time to revel in the beauty of who we really are, not what secrets we may be hiding behind the feathers and silk."

The silence is not momentous-- it is ponderous, if anything. After a moment, the harpsichord begins to play a sweet and simple song, and the dance goes on.

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